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The Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up programme is open for new applications from Scotland

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3rd April 2018 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

A programme offering funding and business support to new and growing social enterprises is open for applications.

The Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund Scotland.

The Trade Up Programme is open to Scotland-based organisations generating at least £15,000 a year and looking to grow their income.

The programme forms a key part of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to helping Britain prosper, and is designed to support established social entrepreneurs creating positive change in communities to grow their social businesses.

The programme provides entrepreneurs with financial support, a comprehensive learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs focused on growing and becoming more robust, and a dedicated mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.

Taster sessions are taking place across Scotland to showcase what the programme has to offer.

The programme is now in its sixth year and aims to support 2,350 social entrepreneurs by 2020. A brand new funding model, Match Trading™ was also introduced in 2017 to encourage social entrepreneurs to grow their business through trading and increase their sustainability by incentivising them to explore new markets and diversify income streams. As part of the programme, a Match Trading™ grant of up to £5,000 of National Lottery funding is available.

Hazel Smith, founder of social enterprise Retweed, which provides routes into training, employment and enterprise for vulnerable and disadvantaged women in rural Berwickshire said: “The Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme has played a valuable role in helping me to get Retweed up-and-running and I have acquired a diverse array of skills to help grow my business, whilst learning from a network of like-minded people.”

Paula Rogers, head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group said the programme "attracts so many inspirational and motivated individuals from across Scotland and we look forward to supporting a new cohort of students this year. We believe that by supporting individuals to start and develop social businesses to solve the most pressing issues within their local communities, we are helping to drive economic growth across the UK and deliver on our ambition to help Britain prosper.”

Alastair Wilson, chief executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs said: “Our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group has enabled us to support thousands of social entrepreneurs across the UK to develop businesses with a social impact in their communities. We look forward to supporting these social entrepreneurs on each of their individual journeys and to witness their growth with the support of a grant, learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and dedicated mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.”

Applications for the programme close at 1pm on Thursday 26 April 2018.